Slate stones are a traditional industry of Ogatsu town, near Ishinomaki. Volunteers have been working to collect these resilient stones, many of which were washed away in the tsunami, to enable them to be reused for various things such as roof tiles, accessories and ink stones.
The main activity of volunteers in Ishinomaki, the city severely damaged by the tsunami, was clearing mud and cleaning the area.
To date, Peace Boat has completed the cleaning of over 1,200 locations in Ishinomaki, including homes, shops, schools and other public institutions, drains, cemeteries and so on.
This post features photographs showing the differences in scenes of April 10 (one month after the tsunami) and August 30, thanks to the cleanup work of volunteers participating in efforts including the Machinaka Smile project.
A moment of silence – marking six months since the disaster struck.
At 2:46pm on September 11, six months since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, all volunteers and staff together held a moment of silence to pray for the souls of those who lost their lives.
The members’ dedication to both remembrance and recovery became even stronger as they gazed upon the now calm ocean.
We will continue to work together with the people of Ishinomaki one step at a time.
Peace Boat first got to know Mr Nakazato on July 2 at the Ogatsu Recovery Market. He is a fisherman in Funakoshi, a small village with a population of 320 before the disaster. In the tsunami most homes and storehouses were washed away, but miraculously Mr Nakazato’s property survived. That’s why he puts himself last and is working tirelessly to help his fellow fishermen.
Recently volunteers have become busy with cleaning graves, as local residents have requested help to have the graves cleaned by the time of the equinox. Mainly short-term volunteers have been involved with this and everyday many volunteers are spending time cleaning graves and the surrounding area. Today’s report is about such grave cleaning activities at Saikou Temple in Kadonowaki-cho.
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A barbecue is on the menu for today, as a new style of meal preparation. Up until now, ready-made meals were handed out to residents. This new style is where volunteers take the ingredients and equipment necessary to cook on the spot, together with residents. As the needs in the area are changing, the idea emerged that residents could regain some independence by creating an environment where they can cook what they want to eat themselves.
The “Dani-buster” team been working since June, and is in charge of cleaning of bedding, drying and delivery of futons, pest control in evacuation centres and particularly removing bed bugs in the more than 60 evacuation centers in Ishinomaki area according to the needs of each particular centre.
Between July 23 – August 4, 49 Junior High School students from six different schools in Minamisoma participated in the Fukushima Youth Voyage which traveled to Viet Nam, Singapore and Sri Lanka onboard Peace Boat. The students enjoyed participating in activities onboard and in the ports of call. For some of them it was their first time to travel overseas and they all gained a lot from the international exchange and learning opportunities. This is an interview with accompanying staff member Ms Yasuhara Hazuki about her experience and thoughts on the project.
Two new videos have been uploaded by the Ganbatte 365 project introduced earlier on this web site. See here for two clips of Peace Boat efforts supporting the oyster industry in Ishinomaki.
On July 26, a charity sports event called “Corrida por Japon” or “Let’s run for Japan!” was held by the Japan Chamber of Commerce in Paraguay in the capital city of Asunción. Approximately 1000 people participated in the event, during which there was a presentation explaining the current situation in the disaster-affected areas as well as a lively Taiko (Japanese drumming) performance as a prayer for recovery. Support funds which were collected at the charity event were donated to Peace Boat to be used in Peace Boat’s disaster relief operations.